One of my favorite dishes at Giacomo's, our favorite Italian restaurant in Boston's North End, is an addicting butternut squash ravioli served with a mascarpone cream sauce and asparagus. I was really inspired by the butternut squash and pasta pairing, but wanted to lighten things up a bit, so I made a sauce of roasted butternut squash, spinach, buttermilk, and rosemary, and then tossed it with whole wheat pasta. —Kerstin
butternut squash, cut in half lengthwise and seeded
whole wheat penne pasta
garlic clove, minced
10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
Preheat oven to 400?F. Dip a pastry brush in olive oil and evenly brush flesh side of the squash halves; place flesh side down on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 400?F for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until tender. Let squash cool for 10 minutes. Remove flesh from the squash halves with a spoon and mash with a fork until smooth (my yield was 2 cups).
Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain the pasta in a colander, return it to the pot, and keep warm.
Heat remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil in a large skillet and cook shallots for 5 to 7 minutes or until tender. Add garlic and cook 1 additional minute. Add spinach and roasted mashed butternut squash to the pan. Stir in buttermilk, milk, rosemary, and salt and stir until smooth, about 2 minutes. Mix pasta and sauce until the sauce evenly coats all the ingredients. Sprinkle parmesan cheese over each serving. Makes 6 servings.